The God of War franchise has transformed over the last few years into Sony's premiere exclusive brand following the release of a hugely successful fourth title in 2018. The recent installment, God of War, acted as a soft reboot of the franchise to bring in a whole new era of fans — something it most definitely succeeded in doing.
Naturally, the upcoming sequel, God of War: Ragnarök, became one of the most highly anticipated games of the year by many when it was announced in November of last year. Based on Santa Monica Studios track record, the title is expected to be at unprecedented levels of popularity later in the year and will likely be a big contender for the 2021 Game of the Year.
With the release of the PS5, God of War (2018) can now be found in the PS Plus Collection library — a library of PlayStation 4 hits available totally free to PS Plus subscription holders on the new PS5 console. This ought to have brought in a huge number of new fans to the franchise — including myself — who will be anxiously awaiting the release of the sequel.
Many of those still left behind on last generations consoles have naturally been left anxious they will be unable to experience the sequel. However, if a God of War and Sony expert is to be believed, PS4 fans can rest easy...
In a recent clip his Twitch live stream, former God of War developer, David Jaffe, commented on the last generational future of the God of War franchise.
Jaffe stated his belief the upcoming God of War: Ragnarök, would continue to be available for last generation players despite the added power of the PS5 consoles.
"Oh, I'm sure the next God of War will be PS4, PS5, of course it will. I mean, [Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO] Jim Ryan has pretty much said as much."
PlayStation boss, Jim Ryan, has previously stated Sony's intention to continue support for their many remaining PS4 players, saying: “the PS4 community will continue to be incredibly important to us for three or four years.”
Seems like #GodOfWarRagnarok will be cross-gen title after all! “I’m sure the next #GodofWar will be #PS4,#PS5. Of course it will” david jaffe says. W or L?🤔 pic.twitter.com/UJSsLRIWCu
WHAT THIS MEANS
While this isn't confirmation of a last generation release for God of War: Ragnarök by any means, it certainly seems to suggest a PS4 release for the title is definitely in the cards for Sony.
Many will naturally be excited the God of War franchise will likely continue to be playable on PS4; however, fans should be cautious with their excitement. The recent disastrous release of Cyberpunk 2077 on last generation consoles showed the title to be at a nearly unplayable level. With the upcoming sequel sure to be potentially even bigger than the recent Cyberpunk , it's extremely possible the next God of War could face many of the same issues.
The restrictions of PS4 hardware may also limit the potential of the sequel on next-gen consoles due to the need to ensure consistently high quality performance on outdated hardware which is now nearing eight years old.
However, from a business standpoint, it makes total sense to continue the franchise on both generations.
Due to COVID-19, Sony have been unable to produce enough PS5 consoles to meet the mass demand meaning if Sony opted for a PS5 exclusive approach, this would leave many unable to experience the sequel altogether. Based on Sony's previous intolerance of poor last-generation performance, as was clearly shown by their move to totally remove Cyberpunk 2077 from their stores, it's quite obvious the company wouldn't tolerate a substandard release for their remaining old generation players.
God of War: Ragnarök will release in late 2021 on PS5 and likely also on PS4.